Generac agrees to pay $15.8 million civil penalty for failure to immediately report portable generators posing finger amputation and crushing hazards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing that Generac Power Systems, Inc., of Waukesha, Wisconsin, has agreed to pay a $15,800,000 civil penalty. The settlement resolves CPSC’s charges that Generac failed to immediately report to CPSC, as required by law, that 32 models of its Generac® and DR® 6500 Watt and 8000 Watt portable generators contained a defect that could create a substantial product hazard and created an unreasonable risk of serious injury to consumers.

Beginning in October 2018 and continuing into 2020, Generac received reports of incidents from consumers whose fingers were partially amputated or crushed by the unlocked handle of the portable generator. Despite possessing this information, Generac did not immediately report to the Commission. By the time Generac filed a report with the Commission, there were five reports of consumers suffering finger amputations while attempting to transport the portable generators, which required hospitalization, surgery, and/or sutures and resulted in permanent disfigurement. Generac and the Commission jointly announced a recall of the portable generators on July 29, 2021.

The settlement agreement requires Generac to implement and maintain a compliance program and system of internal controls and procedures designed to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). Generac has also agreed to file, for a period of three years, annual reports regarding its compliance program, system of internal controls, and internal audits of the effectiveness of the new compliance program and internal controls.

By a 4-0 vote, the Commission provisionally accepted the settlement agreement, subject to public comment. Asha Allam, a Trial Attorney in the Division of Enforcement and Litigation, represented the Commission in this enforcement action.